Wittenberg men’s basketball ranked in top 25 for first time in six years

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

Wittenberg coach Matt Croci talks at practice on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff
Contributing Writer
Wittenberg coach Matt Croci talks at practice on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff(Contributing Writer)

The Wittenberg Tigers moved into the top 25 of the D3Hoops.com men’s basketball poll Tuesday for the first time in six years.

An 83-70 victory over No. 19 Marietta on Saturday at Pam Evans Smith Arena gave Wittenberg an 11-0 start and pushed it from unranked to No. 17 in the latest poll. It is one of six undefeated teams in the top 25. Marietta fell to No. 25.

» RELATED: Matt Croci reacts to perfect record in December

Wittenberg was last ranked in the final poll of the 2011-12 season. It finished No. 11 after a 24-7 season that saw it reach the national quarterfinals.

This is Wittenberg’s best start since 1993-94 when the Tigers reached 26-0 in former coach Bill Brown’s first season and current coach Matt Croci’s senior season.

» RELATED: Wittenberg beats Capital at buzzer

Wittenberg returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Kenyon. The Tigers share first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference with No. 9 Ohio Wesleyan (9-2, 4-0). The Battling Bishops almost beat No. 1 Whitman on Saturday, losing 92-90 in Las Vegas, Nev., at the D3Hoops.com Classic.

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Dragons photo gallery: vs. South Bend Cubs at Fifth Third Field

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 9:22 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:10 AM

Adult beverages, rain delay and Dragons baseball vs. the South Bend Cubs at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 18, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Pitcher Hunter Greene’s second start as a Dayton Dragon had an abbreviated ending on Wednesday night.

The Dragons led the visiting South Bend Cubs 3-0 with two outs in the top of the third inning when the game was suspended for more than an hour because of rain.

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Greene gets 2nd start, but Orewiler earns win for streaking Dragons

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 11:50 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 12:58 AM

Dragons pitcher Hunter Greene went 2.1 innings in a rain-delayed second start, a 4-1 defeat of the visiting South Bend Cubs at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 18, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Hunter Greene figured he would have to up his considerable game when he was promoted to the Dragons.

Sure enough, the Reds’ No. 1 draft pick from a year ago has dealt with elements that were foreign to his Los Angeles upbringing. There’s been rain, more rain, some snow and an entire three-game weekend series postponed in just two weeks of minor-league baseball.

It was more of the same for his delayed second start on Wednesday against visiting South Bend at Fifth Third Field.

“We’re going to face this,” said Greene following a 4-1 win that pushed the Dragons’ win streak to seven. “We’ve just got to be able to compete, bring our ‘A’ game and be ready to go.”

»RELATED: Dragons photo gallery vs. Cubs

Greene was supposed to have started last Saturday at West Michigan, but that road trip was completely washed out due to a winter storm that lingered throughout the Midwest. Instead, he unloaded on the Cubs and statistically was just as impressive as his debut nine days prior that drew national media.

He went 2.1 innings for a no-decision, allowing three hits, one walk, no runs and striking out three. And he brought the heat again.

»RELATED: Greene battles the elements

He hit 100 mph on his first three pitches in his opening assignment. On Wednesday, he topped that by hitting 101 mph in the second inning. That unofficially ties a stadium record that former Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman first registered during a major-league rehab assignment with the Dragons in 2014.

Cubs designated hitter Christian Donahue owns a black-and-blue souvenir of Greene’s magic moment: He was hit by the 101 mph missile.

Rain soon pelted the field before Greene could get out of the third inning. He was done following a 90-minute rain delay.

“It was great,” said Greene, who had 43 pitches and likely would not have gone past the third inning anyway. “It went really well and the team was strong. We stayed in it, competed and got the job done.”

»RELATED: This is how to make up for it

Dragons reliever Austin Orewiler (2-1) earned the win, going 4.2 innings, allowing a solo home run and striking out eight. Ryan Nutof and Sarkis Ohanian also each pitched scoreless innings to preserve what Greene and Orewiler started.

Dragons relievers have allowed just two earned runs during the win streak, a span of 31.2 innings.

»RELATED: Clementina delivers following trade from Dodgers

“It’s a great staff,” Dragons pitching coach Seth Etherton said. “These guys have meshed really well. It’s all about preparing. Once they understand a lot about themselves at this stage in their careers, that’s what it’s all about, figuring out what works for them.”

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Dragons third baseman John Sansone had a two-run homer, his first. The Dragons made the most of three hits. The Cubs had just five hits and celebrated starter Jose Albertos (0-1) was tagged with the loss. He’s the No. 3 minor-league prospect for the Cubs.

THURSDAY’S GAME

South Bend at Dayton, 7 p.m.

WONE-AM (980)

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Hunter Greene battles elements in second start for Dayton Dragons

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 8:30 PM

Hunter Greene (left), Dragons pitching coach Seth Etherton (middle) and catcher Hendrick Clementina meet on the mound in the third inning at Fifth Third Field (Photo: Marc Pendleton/CMG Ohio).
Hunter Greene (left), Dragons pitching coach Seth Etherton (middle) and catcher Hendrick Clementina meet on the mound in the third inning at Fifth Third Field (Photo: Marc Pendleton/CMG Ohio).

Hunter Greene’s second start for the Dayton Dragons was cut short by rain at Fifth Third Field on Wednesday night.  

The Cincinnati Reds’ No. 1 draft pick from 2017 was on the mound for about 10 minutes of a downpour before the game was halted by the umpires with one out in the top of the third inning and South Bend Cubs on second and third. 

Austin Orewiler replaced Greene after a one hour, three minute rain delay and struck out Austin Filiere with his first pitch. 

Miguel Amaya then lined out to right field to end the inning with the Dragons leading 3-0. 

Greene threw 47 pitches, including 26 strikes, in his second Midwest League (Class A) game. He struck out three, walked one and hit a batter in 2.1 innings. 

The 18-year-old struggled to find the plate late, though that was somewhat understandable given the conditions. 

Between the time rain started coming down hard and the delay, Greene walked a batter and went to a 3-2 count on first baseman Filiere. 

Greene stranded runners at second and third in the first inning. 

The game started with Jhonny Bethencourt singling up the middle. Yeiler Peguero then smashed one at shortstop Jose Garcia, who made a nice stop and from his backside threw Bethencourt out at second. 

After Filiere crushed a fastball that landed on the warning track in left field for a double, Amaya struck out looking at a 100-mile-per-hour heater to end the frame. 

RELATED: Greene dazzles in Dragons debut

The Cubs looked ready for the fastball in the second inning, too, as center fielder Chris Singleton made a loud out to left field on a fastball before Greene struck out Rafael Narea on an off-speed pitch. 

He went back to the heater to start out Christian Donahue, who hit a laser beam foul down the line. He wore Greene’s next pitch, a fastball that registered 101 on the stadium scoreboard and found Donahue’s thigh. 

After he took first base, the inning ended on a check-swing bouncer back to Greene off the bat of Zach Davis. 

The Dragons scored three runs in the first off righty Jose Albertos, No. 3 prospect in the Chicago organization according to Baseball America. 

The last two came on a 2-run homer by John Sansone that went over the 381 sign in left field.  

In two appearances for the Dragons, Greene has struck out 11, walked one and allowed two runs, both earned. He has needed 100 pitches (61 strikes) to get through 5.1 innings.  

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Dayton hands out team awards: Cunningham named MVP

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 8:23 PM

Highlights: Dayton's Josh Cunningham scores 32 vs. Rhode Island

The Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team, which finished 14-17 last season in the first year for coach Anthony Grant, held its annual awards banquet Wednesday.

» UD ARENA COVERAGE: Phase two will be busy time

Here’s a recap of the honors the players received:

White-Allen Most Valuable Player: Josh Cunningham

The redshirt junior from Chicago led the team in scoring (15.6 points per game) and ranked fifth in the nation in field-goal percentage (64.6). He made the All-Atlantic 10 third team. This award is sponsored by Tim White and the White-Allen Auto Group, Inc., and has been awarded since 1953.

“His consistency is a great example to all the guys on our team, especially the younger guys,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said of Cunningham in December. “I think any young man that has a chance to come out and watch him play, the way he competes, his maturity on the floor, the way he carries himself, his competitive character is really what it’s all about. He’s as good a competitor as I’ve been around.”

Alex Schoen Memorial Free Throw Trophy: Darrell Davis

The senior guard from Detroit made 105 of 125 free throws (87.5 percent). It was the eighth-best single-season percentage in Dayton history. He finished his career ranked sixth in school history (175 of 219, 79.9). This trophy is named for Alex Schoen Sr., the captain of UD's first varsity basketball team in 1903-04.

» RECRUITING COVERAGE: Sidney junior earns scholarship offer

Dayton's Trey Landers dunks against Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday, March 8, 2018, at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Chris Daniels Memorial Most Improved Player: Trey Landers

The sophomore guard from Wayne High School improved his scoring average from 3.0 to 11.3 and his rebounding average from 1.7 to 5.6. He appeared in nine games as a freshman and started all 29 games he appeared in as a sophomore. This award honors Chris Daniels, a Dayton center who died in 1996 during his senior year with the team.

» LOOK AHEAD: What the roster looks like now

Dayton's Jordan Davis drives to the basket against Virginia Commonwealth's Isaac Vann on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at the Siegel Center in Richmond, Va.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Thomas M. Luppe Award: Jordan Davis

This award honors a “first-year player (or players) on the team who best demonstrates the courage, desire and integrity of former Flyer freshman Tom Luppe,” who died in 1963 while playing in a freshman game. Davis, a freshman guard from Irmo, S.C., averaged 8.0 points per game and shot 39.4 percent (56 of 142) from 3-point range.

» RELATED: April recruiting period important for Dayton

Dayton’s John Crosby, Trey Landers and Jack Westerfield enter the game against La Salle on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

John L. Macbeth Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award: Jack Westerfield

The junior walk-on guard from Cincinnati appeared in 10 games. This award honors the memory of Dayton businessman John L. Macbeth and has has been awarded since 1959.

Dayton’s Jalen Crutcher dribbles against Virginia Commonwealth’s Jonathan Williams on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Uhl Family Endowed Scholarship: Jalen Crutcher

The freshman point guard from Memphis, Tenn., averaged 9.2 points per game and led the team in assists (4.4 per game). He made the A-10 all-rookie team.

Dayton’s Ryan Mikesell and Obadiah Toppin watch the team warm up before a game against Tennessee Tech on Dec. 6, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

James G. and Purcell S. Palmer Endowed Scholarship: Ryan Mikesell

The junior forward from St. Henry sat out the season after undergoing hip surgeries last summer and will return to the court in the 2018-19 season.

Dr. George Rau Spirit Award: Obadiah Toppin

The freshman forward from Ossining, N.Y., sat out the season as an academic redshirt but won this award, which honors Dayton’s longtime team physician, who died in 1972. This is the first time a non-active player has won the award. According to a Dayton press release, Toppin “took it upon himself to bring a positive attitude to the team every time the Flyers were on the court. This was evident in games when fans could see him, but also on the practice court. Not only did Toppin improve his own game in preparation for next season during practice, he made his teammates better by pushing them every day.”

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